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Submission + - FISA Court Will Release More Opinions Because Of Snowden (washingtonpost.com)

cold fjord writes: Looks like more evidence against being a rubber stamp. The Washington Post reports, "Citing the former NSA contractor, a federal judge has ordered the government to declassify more reports from the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. In an opinion from the FISC itself, Judge F. Dennis Saylor on Friday told the White House to declassify all the legal opinions relating to Section 215 of the Patriot Act written after May 2011 that aren't already the subject of FOIA litigation. The court ruled (.pdf) that the White House must identify the opinions in question by Oct. 4. "The unauthorized disclosure of in June 2013 of a Section 215 order, and government statements in response to that disclosure, have engendered considerable public interest and debate about Section 215," wrote Saylor. "Publication of FISC opinions relating to this opinion would contribute to an informed debate." The ruling comes in response to a petition by the American Civil Liberties Union seeking greater government transparency. But because the ACLU already has a similar FOIA case pending in another court, Saylor wrote that the new FISC order can only cover documents that don't relate to that case."

Submission + - Tooth Cavities May Protect Against Cancer

Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes: John Gever reports at MedPage Today that according to a new study conducted by researchers from the University of Buffalo, people with more cavities in their teeth are 32 percent less likely to suffer from head and neck cancers. "To our knowledge, the present study suggests, for the first time, an independent association between dental caries and head and neck squamous cell carcinoma." The researchers proposed a mechanism for the apparent protective effect: that cariogenic, lactic acid-producing bacteria prompt cell-mediated Th1 immune responses that suppress tumor formation. The team examined records of patients older than 21 seen in the university's dental and maxillofacial prosthetics department from 1999 to 2007, identifying 399 who were newly diagnosed with head and neck squamous cell carcinoma. Assuming that the association between caries and reduced cancer risk is real, the team suggests that one could regard the cariogenic bacteria as beneficial overall, with caries "a form of collateral damage." Therefore an appropriate strategy could be to target that effect specifically without aggressively targeting the bacteria. "Antimicrobial treatment, vaccination, or gene therapy against cariogenic bacteria may lead to more harm than good in the long run."

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